Monday, January 11, 2010

Terps ride hot shooting to win

You had to feel that Maryland couldn't sustain their 51% shooting clip of the 1st half against Florida State last night but they were able to come out in the 2nd half and still post a 48.6% shooting number to come away with a win over a very solid Seminole team. Greivis Vasquez had the most to do with that going 6/10 in the 2nd half and scoring 17 points in some critical moments. With FSU making a run and closing to within three points with 12 minutes left in the game Vasquez took over and scored 9 of Maryland's next 12 points with a steal and assist on the only other field goal the Terps scored. When Vasquez is on the top of his game, like he was for most of last night, then the Terps are competitive with almost any team. It helped that he got some help from a recently MIA Eric Hayes who was deadly from the 3-point line and Landon Milbourne who decided to play tough inside for the first time in a month.

The trio of Solomon Alabi, Chris Singleton and Ryan Reid outrebounded the quartet of Milbourne, Jordan Williams, James Padgett and Dino Gregory 27-22 but Maryland's guards combined for 11 rebounds compared with 5 for the FSU backcourt. Reid and Alabi missed significant minutes due to injury and foul trouble and that was a good thing for Maryland because Alabi dominated in the minutes he was able to play. Alabi has developed into the most complete and dominating big man in the ACC and he will make a good case for ACC player of the year if he can stay out of foul trouble.

The ability of Maryland to stay competitive in the rebounding margin and largely contain FSU's 3-point shooting (33%) are very good signs going forward. It is doubtful that Maryland will shoot 62.5% from 3-point range very often this season. Florida State does play very good half court defense but they don't pressure the ball like Duke or Clemson. Maryland is likely to struggle against a quicker and more physical backcourt.

Sean Mosley had a quiet night but was solid with 6 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists with only one turnover. Tucker split more time with Mosley and had a very good night with 8 points off the bench. Adrian Bowie continued to struggle but didn't get the quick hook like he may have in the past.

It was a great win for the Terps but there are still some elements that they need to improve going forward. Florida State probably has one of the weaker backcourts in the league and had trouble exploiting some of Maryland's defensive weakness. The foul trouble that Alabi got himself into changed the game and allowed Maryland to build a lead that they were able to maintain the whole game. Now the Terps face two legitimate road games that they should win if they hope to make a run at the NCAA tournament.

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